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North Carolina Senator Richard Burr is Stepping Down as Chair of Intelligence Committee During Insider Trading Investigation

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North Carolina Senator Richard Burr announced his decision to temporarily step down as chairman of the Intelligence Committee during a federal investigation into his alleged insider trading activities.

The speculation of insider trading came about after reports surfaced that Burr allegedly sold stocks after attending secret briefings on the threat of the Wuhan virus pandemic.

“Senator Burr contacted me this morning to inform me of his decision to step aside as chairman of the Intelligence Committee during the pendency of the investigation,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared in a statement. “We agreed that this decision would be in the best interests of the committee and will be effective at the end of the day tomorrow.”

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Burr was part of a group of senators who sold holdings earlier in 2020 when intelligence officials were holding closed-door meetings about the looming threat of the Wuhan virus. Burr has denied partaking in illegal insider trading activities.

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The North Carolina Senator will not run for re-election in 2022.

Burr said in a statement that his decision to step down from his position was needed so that the committee could “continue its essential work free of external distractions.”

Burr’s office has maintained that his stock sales were not connected to any information he received through his position as leader of the Intelligence Committee, which receives multiple briefings about threats the country is potentially facing.

The North Carolina Senator sold 33 stocks on February 13 with a total value ranging from $628,000 and $1.7 million, as stated in his disclosure form. ProPublica first reported the sales. Three of the assets that Burr sold were in hotel companies, which have seen their value collapse due to the global lockdowns caused by the Wuhan virus pandemic.

The Stock Act of 2012 has banned members of Congress and federal officials from trading on nonpublic information about regulatory or legislative decisions that has yet to be decided on. The law also mandated them to publicly disclose stock transactions within 45 days after realizing them, on top of the annual disclosure listing assets and liabilities.

Ideally, Burr would resign from the Senate altogether. Such graft should not be tolerated in Congress.

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U.S. Law Enforcement Bust 27 People Connected to Mexican Sinaloa Cartel

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Over two dozen people were arrested on drug charges in connection to a Mexican cartel smuggling cocaine into the U.S. Following a two-year investigation, 27 people were arrested through Operation Tripwire, an investigation effort U.S. officials have been working on featuring members of the Sinaloa Cartel.

The trafficking network went from Los Angeles, California to Tucson, Arizona and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where cocaine originating from Mexico was smuggled stateside. The United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Scott Brady declared “this is a large organization that was trafficking hundreds of kilograms of cocaine throughout the country and has direct ties to the Sinaloa cartel in Mexico.”

U.S. authorities recounted that the investigations started after an agent in Pittsburgh was able to identify an address that received large quantities of suspicious-looking packages coming from California. Since then, agents started to do investigation on other members of the network across the U.S.

Across the span of seven months, authorities were able to intercept U.S. calls made by some of the alleged traffickers with Sinaloa carte leaders in Mexico. On September 9, 2020, 27 were arrested in Arizona, California, and Pennsylvania.

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According to American authorities, $1.3 million in cash and over 140 kilograms of cocaine were seized. The aforementioned people arrested are now facing a prison sentence of between 10 years and life in prison.

The border situation is no joke. Prior administrations have largely neglected the issue and have allowed for unprecedented levels of illegal immigration and drug trafficking to cross the U.S. border.

In a prior instance, BLP reported on how Mexico is a failed state that cannot maintain public order and is largely being pushed around by cartels. Due to its proximity to the U.S., Mexico’s problems will likely spillover stateside.

This is why border security is crucial. Thankfully, the U.S. has a president in Donald Trump that gets the memo. He’ll still need help from Congress, however,

That’s why it’s crucial that America First Republicans have strong showings at all branches of government in 2020.

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